The NFL regular season is coming to a close, which means fans and bettors are gearing up for the postseason and ultimately, the Super Bowl.
To help everyone prepare for the big game in Miami on February 2 at Hard Rock Stadium, we are laying out some recent Super Bowl betting trends and go through some suggestions for futures bets based on the current odds.
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2020 Super Bowl Betting Trends
The decade may be ending but the excitement around the NFL postseason is just beginning, so we've done the research to find information that could be helpful in some way leading up to the biggest day on the sports calendar.
The truth is that you can't make Super bowl predictions based on trends alone since each team, season, and game is totally independent. What we can do is look at some trends and take it into account like we would any other wagering information prior to kickoff. In an effort to provide more useful nuggets of information, we have limited our sample size to recent Super Bowl betting history of the past 10 years (2010-19), covering Super Bowls 44 to 53.
- Teams Win & Cover In Recent Years
Every team that has won the Super Bowl in the past 10 years has also covered the spread. The only way a team can win and not cover is if they're the favorite and don't win by enough points. The last time this happened was Super Bowl 43, which the Steelers won by four as a seven-point favorite (well done, Santonio Holmes).
So if you're going to take an underdog, especially with a small spread according to 2020 Super Bowl odds, you may want to take the plus-money on the moneyline rather than taking the points.
- Alternating Favorites and Underdogs
Part of this depends on which odds you go by, but ours tell us the past six seasons have seen favorites and underdogs take turns winning the big game, with the favorite winning Super Bowl 53.
According to ESPN's Super Bowl history, Seattle was a one-point underdog at kickoff after opening as three-point favorites in Super Bowl 49 against the Patriots. Some outlets have this marked as a win for the underdog due to the original line, but the reality is New England was a slight favorite by the time the game began. For us, that's a win for a small favorite. Before that game in 2015, the underdog had won three straight times on Super Bowl Sunday.
- Relatively Consistent Spread & Total Records
When it comes to betting on the spread and total, Super Bowl betting trends have been pretty even lately.
Again, using the Patriots-Seahawks matchup as a victory for the favorite makes the straight up and against-the-spread record 6-4 for underdogs in the last 10 Super Bowls since every winner has covered. If not for Super Bowl 49, or the Patriots becoming last-minute favorites, underdogs would be 7-3.
When it comes to the total, the over is 6-4 compared to the under. If the Patriots didn't pull off a massive comeback from 28-3 down (sorry, Falcons fans) in Super Bowl 51, then the over-under record would be even for the past 10 years as well. Two of the past three games have gone over the total, although the Patriots and Rams played to an easy under last year.
- Small Spreads & High-Scoring Games
Super Bowl 53 was an outlier since the game only had 16 points and a 2.5-point spread but for the most part, smaller spreads have resulted in higher-scoring games recently. Check this out: Super Bowls 45 (Packers), 48 (Seahawks), 49 (Patriots), and 51 (Patriots) all had spreads of three or under and wound up going over the total by game's end.
- High Totals Go Under?
Super Bowl 53 helped reinforce a trend that matchups with high totals tend to be lower-scoring games than previously expected. Four games have made it to kickoff with a total of at least 50 points in the past 10 years, and three of those have wound up falling short of the total. Each went under by at least 8.5 points, making that bet an easy win.
- Wear White & Win The Toss
File this in the section of trends that really don't matter, but are interesting to note. The team that has won the coin toss is 7-3 in the last 10 Super Bowls, while the team wearing white has an incredible 8-2 streak going that gets even more impressive if you extend it into the previous decade.
Super Bowl Predictions: Futures Odds & Early Picks
It may not feel like it but we are only a few weeks out from the NFL playoffs, which means we are running out of time to make Super Bowl predictions in the form of futures bets.
We've been documenting 2020 Super Bowl odds and making picks throughout the season, so we are fully prepared to continue the discussion as the postseason gets closer. Below are the current NFL betting lines from SugarHouse, which offers players one of the best welcome bonuses compared to other NJ betting sites.
As more teams are eliminated and the pool of contenders gets smaller, odds on the elite teams drastically lower. By the time the playoffs arrive, some of the value can be lost, which means placing wagers before the postseason begins is the best way to get the most out of your investment.
Here are our top three selections for Super Bowl predictions based on where things stand going into Week 15, with all picks being made at the time of writing on December 10:
Baltimore Ravens (+240): This is the clear-cut best team in the AFC this season and probably the most impressive in football along with San Francisco and New Orleans at times. Baltimore has passed nearly every test they've faced including winning games on the road in Seattle and New England, and don't forget home wins against Houston and the Niners. Of course, the value at this point isn't close to what it was, but there's still some.
New Orleans Saints (+600): The Saints' 2020 Super Bowl odds were just inflated by a wild 48-46 home loss to San Francisco, who now holds onto first place in the NFC.
Not having home field throughout the playoffs is definitely one reason to doubt New Orleans, but this team has overcome plenty of obstacles this season and gotten several huge wins, especially early on. They dealt with losing Drew Brees, Alvin Kamara, and key defensive pieces at various times, but barely skipped a beat and could even win a road playoff game if it had to.
Kansas City Chiefs (+800): Don't look now, but the Chiefs could be starting to morph back into the team that led the conference championship game with a minute left in regulation.
The AFC playoff picture says they've got an outside shot to steal a first-round bye but even if they don't, the Chiefs have already won on the road in New England. If not Baltimore, consider making Super Bowl predictions on a healthy Patrick Mahomes and one of the most dynamic offenses around.